The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Four of the Best Egyptian Short Films
written by
Nada Medhat

Short films don’t usually get as much attention from audiences and media as long narrative ones. But it would be a shame if that led us to believe that the form is any less brilliant or fitting for complex and exciting stories! In the last decade alone, Egyptian artists have made multiple amazing short films, which is why we’re bringing you four of the best of them.

I’m Afraid to Forget Your Face (2020)

I’m Afraid to Forget Your Face is the first Egyptian short film to win the Palme d’Or for Short Films. After 82 days of separation, the main protagonist takes drastic measures to be reunited with the one he loves. The 15-minute film is a beautiful, complex, and raw portrait of grief and the desperate measures it elicits in us; the premise is simple, and the fear is tangible in the atmosphere: the fear of forgetting a loved one’s face.

Check the trailer here

The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometer 375 (2014)

An earlier work of the director of the critically acclaimed “Feathers”, The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometer 375 also leans towards an absurd, black comedy. The 18-minute film has minimal dialogue and follows the aftermath of an unfortunate incident at the inauguration of a public toilet in the desert. The minimalist movie is essentially about fear in a materialist world that blurs the line between objects and humans, with the faded colours of the film only highlighting this muddy state of existence.

You can watch the whole film here

Ward’s Henna Party (2020)

The short film follows Halima, a Sudanese refugee living and working in Egypt, and her seven-year-old daughter: Ward. Earning her living by painting henna on brides, Halima gets a job for a bride in Giza and takes her daughter with her, who decides to wander around the neighbourhood. The film is masterful in the way the intensity escalates rapidly but organically, evoking a high level of tension in the viewer. Still, the film doesn’t rely entirely on this; it has its moments evoking both tears and laughter.

You can watch the trailer here

Dry Hot Summers (2015)

The longest on this list: a 30-minute short film that follows two characters whose drastically different places in life and their journeys intertwine: Shawky, a cancer patient with only a few weeks left to live but still holds out hope despite the loneliness and the pain, and Doaa, a bride-to-be living alone in a strange city, desperate to start a family. A striking depiction of a human bond created out of the most unexpected of time and situations.

You can watch the trailer here